Top 25 Consultants 2015: Basilia Yao

Basilia Yao
Alvarez & Marsal
Excellence in Public Sector


Basilia Yao is a Senior Director with Alvarez & Marsal in New York. She joined A&M from the City of New York, where she served as Chief Operating Officer in former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations. In that role, she oversaw the financial management, performance monitoring and reporting, data analysis, quality assurance, and overall project controls for the city’s programs for homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Recently, Yao led an engagement to establish Pinoy Relief, a non-profit organization established by A&M Co-CEO Tony Alvarez and the Alvarez Charitable Foundation to provide recovery assistance—including rebuilding schools, housing and fishing boats in the municipality of Guiuan —to victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

As Executive Director of Pinoy Relief, she was responsible for the program execution, financial management and performance monitoring of the organization and its partners. “It has been my privilege to lead Pinoy Relief,” Yao says. “We focused on one municipality to ensure our work aligned with the efforts of other aid organizations and the local government, and to efficiently meet the needs of Guiuan residents, families and business.”

Yao says she’s extremely proud of the Pinoy Relief team for their accomplishments, specifically building 3,100 homes, 134 classrooms and more than 300 fishing boats in just over one year. “Our cost-efficient and transparent approach helped to achieve a remarkable recovery for the people of Guiuan that was culminated by a visit from the President of the Republic of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III on the one-year anniversary of the typhoon to celebrate the relief effort’s success,” she says. “I was deeply gratified when the principal of one of the schools rebuilt by Pinoy Relief stopped by to share stories,” she says. “Helping students get back to school, on the heels of a national disaster, was motivation enough, but learning about a renewed enthusiasm for education fills me with pride.”

All of this serves as a sense of motivation for Yao. “I’m motivated by working with passionate people, and by doing work that provides people and communities with opportunities to succeed,” she says. “In my role at A&M, I am fortunate to be surrounded by colleagues and clients who dedicate their work to making an impact.”

Yao says she’s always sought roles and organizations that offer opportunities to create value and make a social impact. “I’m at my best, with my clients and my colleagues, when I am intellectually and emotionally engaged,” she says.

As far as the winning the Top 25 award, Yao says it’s an exceptional honor and one that truly belongs to the team. “A&M’s work in the public and social sectors reflects the hearts, minds and commitment of my many talented colleagues,” Yao says. “Our success begins with clients who are ready to take on deeply complex challenges and is driven by a team effort to deliver measurable results.”

What stands out the most about the work you do?

“I’ve spent most of my career in the public and social sector. I measure success by impact—bringing tangible benefits to people, in an efficient, effective and sustainable manner. Consulting with public sector clients gives me the opportunity to work with bold, courageous leaders who take on deeply complex challenges.”

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